Playing Australian football requires a combination of athleticism, physical toughness, skill, and speed. This game allows players to tackle the player with the ball and obstruct the opposing team from tackling their teammates but not to intentionally strike the opponents.
Just like any other team sports, the strategies are based around attempting to get the ball. Through a combination of running (while carrying the ball), hand-passing, and kicking the ball, the main objective is to deliver the ball to the next player within the goal range. And since taking a mark grants the player a free kick, the tactic that is commonly used is to kick the ball to a teammate who is situated near the kicking range of goal. In this kind of situation, opposing players will form around the goal square as the opportunity arises for a spectacular mark or the mark where players launch themselves off the backs of their opponents in order to mark the ball high in the air.
In the rules of the football game, there are no set positions. But traditionally, the field is divided into three major sections, namely forward line, midfield, and back line. Six players consist of the forward and back lines, which are arranged into two lines of three players each. In the midfield, a designated ruckman, who is the player contesting the ruck or bounce-down, and the players not confined to a specific area, who either stay in the ground’s centre area or follow the ball, are assigned.
It was in the 1970s that the “hand-pass” rose to popularity, which then greatly influenced the modern style of playing Aussie rules. This made players more willing to follow the ball and move it amongst themselves rather than it becoming a one-on-one marking contest.
By the late 1990s, a tactic called “flooding” was invented to shift the focus away from set ground positions. Teams that play a flood direct two or more of their forward line or midfield players into their defence, outnumbering their opponent and making it hard for the opposition’s forward to take a mark.
Today, the positional play has been largely discarded in favour of attempting to have loose players in different ground positions and having a free-flowing running game.
Players are required to wear comfortable clothes and have a football when playing in the park. But for those who want to play for a team in bigger parks, studded boots and a mouth guard are needed. Know that once registered with a football team, a uniform will be provided.
Some players, mostly ruckmen, wear shin guards. But all protective equipment must be approved by umpires to make sure that players won’t get injured.
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